Creating an honest and open environment

Morgan Liotta

25/02/2019 9:27:31 AM

Dr Erin Gordon believes building trust with patients is the foundation of being a good GP.

Dr Erin Gordon builds on trust and adopting an advocacy role for a solid GP–patient relationship.
Dr Erin Gordon builds on trust and adopting an advocacy role for a solid GP–patient relationship.

‘The most important thing when developing trust with your patients is to create an honest, open environment, where you assure confidentiality, reassure and support them by being non-judgemental,’ Dr Gordon told newsGP.
‘Most importantly of all, ensure you treat them as a person coming to you with advice on a problem, rather than treating them as a disease.’
Dr Gordon applies this philosophy when treating various members of the community, where she currently runs a youth clinic in a community health centre three days a week, working with people experiencing substance issues, mental health issues, refugee health and family planning.
She is also currently collaborating with the RACGP and National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) on improving access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients, and travels once every six weeks to far-western Victoria with the Royal Flying Doctors to run a clinic focusing on GP access for women and children.
‘General practice provides with me so much ability to spread my wings and try different things,’ Dr Gordon said.
‘There is also a huge amount of flexibility and this provides me with the ability to dabble in other passions and have an amazing work–life balance.’
Dr Gordon became interested in general practice after several years of sampling other specialities. She ultimately realised that she loved too many specialities to focus on any one area – and that she would ‘become bored very quickly’ if she had to focus on one particular area or sub-speciality.
After choosing the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) pathway with the RACGP, Dr Gordon headed to the Northern Territory (NT) on a medical student scholarship, enjoying it so much she returned for a second year of hospital-based training.
Her time in the NT played an influential role in Dr Gordon’s future career as a GP.
‘The remote-area nurses and GPs that I had met in the NT played a huge role in me considering general practice, in addition to the GPs involved in my undergraduate training,’ she said.
‘After choosing to try inpatient secure psychiatry, I realised that what I loved about it was that I had a continuing relationship with my patients and that I was taking care of the whole patient ... and decided to consider general practice as a career choice.’
It seems Dr Gordon made the right career choice, finding each day as a GP as rewarding as it is educational.
‘A typical day in general practice provides me with so many things,’ she said.
‘The ability to apply clinical knowledge within an immensely huge spectrum, the ability to create rapport and sustain relationships with people and to be entrusted with information that they may not have even told their nearest loved ones, and to be able to take on an advocacy role for the people that I see.’

Australian General Practice Training program become a GP


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